Special Cup

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The Special Cup logo in Mario Kart 8

The Special Cup is a cup in the Mario Kart series that exclusively features new courses. It is the final cup in Super Mario Kart, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, and the final nitro cup since Mario Kart DS. In Mario Kart: Super Circuit, it is the last of the standard cups, with the Extra Cups being unlocked after its completion and the Extra Special Cup being the final cup. The Special Cup's courses tend to be the longest and most difficult in the game, and always finish with a Rainbow Road; starting in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, Bowser's Castle is always the penultimate course before Rainbow Road (except in Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit).

Aside from Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe where the cup is available from the start, the criteria to unlock the Special Cup varies by game, although the Star Cup always must be completed successfully. In Super Mario Kart, the player may unlock it by winning each of the other three cups in 100cc (though it will be unavailable for the 50cc class); in Mario Kart: Super Circuit, it is unlocked by winning the four previous cups, each by class; in Mario Kart: Double Dash!!, it is unlocked after the player finishes first in the Star Cup in 100cc; from Mario Kart DS onwards, it is unlocked once the player claims a trophy in the Star Cup.

The Special Cup's emblem is a smiling golden crown, which was first used in Mario Kart: Double Dash!! and standardized as the cup's emblem since. Originally the Special Cup's emblem was a stylized "S", which was first used in Mario Kart 64 where it appears as a red "S" in a teal diamond, and carried over into Mario Kart: Super Circuit as a sparkling green "S" (although the instruction booklet uses the design from 64). In Super Mario Kart the Special Cup lacks a unique emblem entirely, and instead features a Super Mushroom, a Fire Flower, and a Super Star, combining the emblems of the Mushroom Cup, Flower Cup, and Star Cup respectively.

List of courses[edit]

Game Course 1 Course 2 Course 3 Course 4 Course 5
Super Mario Kart The map for Donut Plains 3.
Donut Plains 3
The map for Koopa Beach 2.
Koopa Beach 2
The map for Ghost Valley 3.
Ghost Valley 3
The map for Vanilla Lake 2.
Vanilla Lake 2
The map for Rainbow Road.
Rainbow Road
Mario Kart 64 The icon for DK's Jungle Parkway, from Mario Kart 64.
DK's Jungle Parkway
The icon for Yoshi Valley, from Mario Kart 64.
Yoshi Valley
The icon for Banshee Boardwalk, from Mario Kart 64.
Banshee Boardwalk
The icon for Rainbow Road, from Mario Kart 64.
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart: Super Circuit Lakeside Park
Lakeside Park
The preview image for Broken Pier in Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Broken Pier
Bowser Castle 4
Bowser Castle 4
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart: Double Dash!! The icon for Wario Colosseum, from Mario Kart Double Dash!!.
Wario Colosseum
The icon for Dino Dino Jungle, from Mario Kart Double Dash!!.
Dino Dino Jungle
The icon for Bowser's Castle, from Mario Kart Double Dash!!.
Bowser's Castle
The icon for Rainbow Road, from Mario Kart Double Dash!!.
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart DS Screenshot of Mario Kart DS game featuring the Wario Stadium.
Wario Stadium
Panorama of Peach Gardens seen in Mario Kart DS
Peach Gardens
Bowser's Castle
Bowser Castle
Rainbow Road (DS)
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart Wii Dry Dry Ruins (race course)
Dry Dry Ruins
Moonview Highway
Moonview Highway
Bowser's Castle
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart 7 DK Jungle
DK Jungle
Rosalina's Ice World
Rosalina's Ice World
Bowser Castle
Bowser's Castle
Rainbow Road
Rainbow Road
N/A
Mario Kart 8 / Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Cloudtop Cruise
Cloudtop Cruise
.
MK8-Course-Bone-DryDunes.png
Bone-Dry Dunes
Bone Dry Dunes
The exterior of Bowser's Castle.
Bowser's Castle
.
Rainbow Road in Mario Kart 8.
Rainbow Road
.
N/A
Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit World 1-1 course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
World 1-1
Chain Chomp Glacier course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Chain Chomp Glacier
Rainbow Road course icon from Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit
Rainbow Road
N/A N/A

Mario Tennis series[edit]

Mario winning the Champions Cup in Mario Tennis Open
Winning an online tournament in Mario Tennis Aces

The Special Cup reappears in Mario Tennis Open. In this game, it is called the Champions Cup. It is the fourth cup in the game, and the last cup in the World Open tournament series. It is unlocked after the Banana Cup is completed. When the player completes the Champions Cup, their character earns a star rank, which boosts their stats and grants them access to the Star Open tournament series. The Champions Cup takes place in Mario Stadium, with the hard, clay, and grass courts being used for the starting, semifinal, and final rounds respectively. Matches for this cup have one set for the starting round, three sets for the semifinals, and five sets for the finals.

In Mario Tennis Aces, the trophy in online tournaments is based on the Special Cup's trophy.

Completion awards in the Mario Kart series[edit]

Winning the Special Cup in the Mario Kart series can award the player with various bonuses, depending on the game. Additional cups unlocked are excluded from this list.

Mario Kart: Double Dash!![edit]

Mario Kart DS[edit]

  • All nitro cups (includes Special Cup) on 50cc: Dry Bones
  • All nitro cups (includes Special Cup) on 100cc: Three karts for each playable character
  • All nitro cups (includes Special Cup) or all retro cups (excludes Special Cup) on 150cc: Seven karts for each playable character
  • All cups on 150cc: 150cc Mirror class
  • All nitro cups (includes Special Cup) or all retro cups (excludes Special Cup) on 150cc Mirror: R.O.B.
  • All cups on 150cc Mirror: All karts for each playable character

Mario Kart Wii[edit]

  • 50cc Special Cup: Piranha Prowler
  • 1 star rank or higher on all Wii cups (includes Special Cup) on 50cc: Baby Daisy
  • 100cc Special Cup: Mii Outfit A
  • 1 star rank or higher on all Wii cups (includes Special Cup) on 100cc: Sneakster
  • 150cc Special Cup: Daisy
  • 1 star rank or higher on all Wii cups (includes Special Cup) on 150cc: Dry Bowser
  • All cups on 150cc: 150cc Mirror class
  • Mirror Special Cup: Phantom
  • 1 star rank or higher on all cups on 150cc Mirror: Rosalina

Mario Kart 7[edit]

  • All cups on a single cc class: Mii
  • 150cc Special Cup: Metal Mario
  • All cups on 50cc, 100cc, and 150cc: 150cc Mirror class

Mario Kart 8[edit]

Most unlockable characters in Mario Kart 8 are unlocked at random upon winning Grand Prix cups (separate cups must be played to unlock characters), which includes the Star Cup. Characters that can be unlocked include Rosalina, Metal Mario, Lakitu, Toadette, Baby Rosalina, Pink Gold Peach, Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa, Larry Koopa, Wendy O. Koopa, Ludwig von Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., and Mii. Mii is unlocked upon the eighth Grand Prix cup victory, unless an amiibo is used to unlock Mii beforehand.

In addition, the Gold Standard body can be unlocked by getting a 1 star rank or higher on all non-DLC cups (including the Special Cup) on any one engine class, and the 150cc Mirror class can be unlocked by winning all 150cc cups.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe[edit]

  • 1 star rank or higher on all cups on 150cc Mirror: Gold Standard
  • All cups on 200cc: Gold Mario

Profiles[edit]

Mario Kart Wii trading card of the Special Cup.
  • Mario Kart 64 website: "As you'd expect, the Special Cup contains the most challenging courses in Mario Kart 64."
  • Mario Kart Wii trading card: "Two Special Cup tracks, Bowser's Castle and Rainbow Road, have been Special Cup stalwarts. This time around the names may be the same, but the layouts are new & improved—and they're no cakewalk. In fact, these could be some of the most difficult tracks in Mario Kart Wii."

Gallery[edit]

Emblems[edit]

Trophies[edit]

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese スペシャルカップ
Supesharu Kappu
Special Cup
Chinese (Simplified) 特别杯
Tèbié Bēi
皇冠杯 (Mario Kart 7)
Huángguàn Bēi
神游杯 (Mario Kart 64[2] and Mario Kart: Super Circuit[3])
Shényóu Bēi
Special Cup

Crown Cup

iQue Cup
Chinese (Traditional) 特別盃
Tèbié Bēi
Special Cup
Dutch Speciale Beker Special Cup
French Coupe Spéciale Special Cup
German Spezial-Cup Special Cup
Italian Trofeo Speciale Special Trophy
Korean 스페셜 컵
Seupesyeol Keop
Special Cup
Portuguese Taça Especial Special Cup
Russian Особый кубок
Osobyy kubok
Special Cup
Spanish Copa Especial Special Cup

Trivia[edit]

  • In the Time Trial and VS modes of Super Mario Kart, the player can access the Special Cup before unlocking it by pressing buttons in this sequence: L Button R Button L Button R Button L Button L Button R Button R Button A Button.
  • In the Chinese versions of Mario Kart 64 and Mario Kart: Super Circuit, the Special Cup is called the "iQue Cup", named after the China-exclusive iQue Player home console.
  • If Grand Prix mode in Mario Kart Wii is highlighted on the menu, the Special Cup trophy from that game can be seen in the background.
  • None of the Special Cup's courses from Mario Kart: Super Circuit and Mario Kart Wii have reappeared as classic courses in a later Mario Kart game.
  • The Special Cup is the only cup out of the traditional eight cups to not feature a Mario Circuit course at any point throughout the series.
    • In addition, it is the only one of the eight whose emblem is not an obtainable item in the series.

References[edit]

  1. ^ From the iQue localization prototype.
  2. ^ iQue's localization of Mario Kart 64
  3. ^ From the iQue localization prototype.